Digital Inclusion Fund

Information
Digital technology image
The Digital Inclusion Fund is focused on building capacity in community-based organizations in training and providing Digital Navigator services to the community.

The pandemic put a spotlight on the massive public need for trustworthy digital inclusion services and drew much needed attention to digital inequities. 

The City’s Digital Inclusion Fund (DI Fund) pilot funding year is focused on building capacity in community-based organizations that are already experimenting with providing Digital Navigator services to residents or looking to start training existing or new staff to be navigators.

About the Digital Inclusion Fund

The Digital Inclusion Fund was created by the Digital Equity Strategic Initiatives team with the support of City Council to pursue efforts to bridge the digital divide in the community with 30% of the resources intended to support small businesses and 70% of the resources intended to support the needs of individuals and the community at large. Through the initiative the City is also supporting the collection of data related to effective local solutions and identifying persistent or new digital equity barriers.

In designing the funding opportunities, city staff received the following guidance from community leaders: 

  • [We need] a [digital navigator] train the trainer program.”
  • "We need to know who [digital navigator] to turn to when a training video doesn’t help.”
  • “We need language-specific [digital literacy] training.
  • [Community] needs training, how to use software, understand what Google Docs are. [A community member] called the health clinic because they were a trusted source [in order to learn] how to use email and google software.
  • […] Language-appropriate trainings, culturally-appropriate trainings and interactive [as opposed to video] trainings are needed. We also need trainings for small businesses (nonprofits as well).
  • [We need] community in-person training; we need small-sized culturally-specific training that targets low-literacy languages areas; we need [digital literacy] training [that are] catered to smaller groups.
  • One-to-one training is needed—[there are community members] that speak a language other than English or are persons with disabilities and [their] comfort with using technology is limited, so one-to-one interaction is needed.

Contact

Rebecca Gibbons

Strategic Initiatives Division Manager